Notwithstanding the bitter of words between rival political leaders in the poll season, the Gandhi cousins – Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Varun Gandhi have shown affection towards each other despite representing different ideologies.
Rahul Gandhi, who today accompanied his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi to Rae Bareli to file her nomination papers, appreciated his cousin Varun for endorsing his work in Amethi constituency.
Reacting to Varun’s statements, Rahul said that he was very happy that people are appreciating the work he has done in his parliamentary constituency. The Congress vice president said he would continue to work for the development of Amethi.
Varun’s comments, made to a group of teachers and activists, may have patented a controversy but they were unsurprisingly embraced by Rahul, 43, who is running for Parliament from Amethi for the third time in a row. “What Varun is saying is right…I am very glad that others are appreciating the work I’ve done in Amethi,” the Congress vice president said, smiling, after he chauffeured his mother, Sonia, in a white SUV through her constituency of Raebareli where she filed her nomination papers for the national election.
Varun Gandhi won the last election from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. When he shifted to Sultanpur this time, he ruled out campaigning against Rahul in Amethi, a constituency represented in the past by both their fathers, Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. Varun spoke of “lines of decency I would never cross.”
Varun and Rahul are the grandsons of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Varun’s father, Sanjay, represented Amethi in Parliament when he died in a plane crash in 1980. His older brother, Rajiv, who was Rahul’s father, then made Amethi his constituency; he was assassinated in 1991. Sonia Gandhi represented Amethi till 2004, when Rahul entered politics and contested his first election from there.
Varun, a MP from Pilibhit, had recently praised Rahul for the implementation of various programmes, including revival of small scale industries in Amethi.
The BJP leader went on to say that the work done in Amethi should be replicated in Sultanpur as well. Varun is contesting the upcoming General Elections from Sultanpur.
However, Varun, son of late Sanjay Gandhi, today clarified his comments were made during his interaction with teachers and members of NGOs. Varun said his remarks were made in response to questions whether he was aware of various initiatives taken by Congress in Amethi.